Have you ever wondered why so many people are against critical race theory (CRT)? I have. Then, one day I had an ah-ha moment.
I believe in CRT’s premise that systematic and institutional racism exists everywhere. I see it in churches, educational systems, the military, and my community as well as in my own life.
Before anything can change, I believe we have to acknowledge our own racism. It makes some uncomfortable when I publicly admit my racism toward others, such as toward Black people (stemming from altercations with Black youth in our neighborhood); Jewish folks (the church implies they killed Jesus); Japanese, Germans, and Italians (WWII propaganda); and Koreans (being a Korean War vet), among others. My racism is subtle and in control. Even though I don’t like it, I know it is there.
I saw and heard my father being a racist—quietly, subtly, and privately. He would deny it to the hilt, but I witnessed and can still envision it. Once I learned how to think critically, I realized that my dad was a quiet racist, as was I. After all, we are human.
The big issue is, what controls people? Is it their blatant racism or their quiet acknowledgment and suppression of it?
Fortunately, my belief system, which is based on agape, means loving everyone unconditionally with no exceptions. Because agape neutralizes my racism, I can be part of the solution.
The very idea of CRT demands critical thinking, and when we lack that skill, it becomes a problem.
Much of our educational system focuses on achieving the best test scores rather than teaching life skills. Therefore our children don’t learn critical thinking. And folks will continue teaching for the best test scores because critical thinking can and does cause problems.
Most churches, religious institutions, educational institutions, businesses, sports teams, and so on frown on critical thinking. They want to be the ones doing the thinking. Our job is to obey, without questioning. If I use critical thinking in my Episcopal church, I could be defrocked.
Too many parents respond to their inquisitive child who asks, “Why do I have to do that?” by saying, “ Because I said so!” rather than “Let’s talk about it.”
Most parents would object loudly if their child pointed out they were racists. In some households, there might be dire consequences because their family has been racist for generations. To have youth take courses where they learn critical thinking and are exposed to CRT would be a dire threat, so parents don’t want critical thinking taught.
When we teach children and young people the dynamics of CRT, almost every institution, business, and governmental agency will be questioned, maybe uncomfortably, by critical thinkers. Then, CRT becomes the enemy, not people’s racism, because it is much easier to rail against CRT than admit our racism.
If I didn’t have agape as my foundation stone, I probably would not be writing this blog. Rather, I might be writing one trying to convince you that the church isn’t racist.
Peace Love Joy Hope
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash